Man Who Gave Away Money to Strangers, Encouraged Them to 'Thank God,' Thrown in Psych Ward

Good Samaritan's Deed is Punished, Canadians Protest for His Release
(Photo: Facebook/#OpFreeRichardWright)Richard Wright in his room at the hospital.

A Halifax man trying to do a bit of good has been taken into the custody of a psychiatric hospital. Friends and family say that he is being held against his will and was just trying to brighten people's day in his own unique way.

Richard Wright was handing out money to strangers on the street, telling them to "thank God" for the gift if they needed it and to pass it along if they didn't. The Prince Edward Island Royal Canadian Mounted Police were called to take Wright into custody in order to perform a psychological evaluation or "wellness check" on the man. After talking with Wright, they determined that he needed "further assessment by a medical health person."

However, Wright's daughter, Chelsea, told Metro News that her father does not need psychological help and merely wanted to help people by brightening their day. She added that her father is being unfairly treated by authorities and should be released. Chelsea organized a Facebook page with the title "OpFreeRichardWright" in order to bring awareness to his cause. So far the page has over 4,000 members.

"I don't think it's fair that this happened," Jennifer Corbett told Metro. She received $150 from Wright when she saw him in Dartmouth. "I mean, do you think that people are going to want to do good after this? He was a good guy, and he did something good for a lot of people."

Even though Wright is being held in the psych ward of Queen Elizabeth's Hospital, Pierre Bourdages, spokesman for the Halifax Regional Police, confirmed that Wright has not broken any laws. This only adds to the frustration felt by members of the public who want to see Wright released immediately.

"If I have only one thing to say Richard it is this: Stay strong, keep the faith and look up," Dale Hutchinson posted on the Facebook page. "God is watching you right now and I would imagine he is truly pleased with Mr. Richard Wright."